Personal Details/ Academic Background:
Professor Sanford Markowitz holds the Markowitz-Ingalls professorship of cancer genetics a distinguished university Professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is a highly accomplished medical oncologist and colon cancer researcher who is internationally recognized for his work identifying key genetic causes of colon cancer and developing molecular tests for early detection of this disease.
Professor Markowitz earned his B.A. in chemistry and physics (summa cum laude) from Harvard University and his M.D. and PhD. from Yale University Medical School. He finished his training and obtained a fellowship in clinical oncology at the National Cancer Institute.
Professor Markowitz is a member of numerous prestigious associations including; American Association for Advancement of Science, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He also served as member of the scientific advisory boards in a large number of institutional and federal committees, the National Colon Cancer Research Alliance, the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the Abramson Family Cancer Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to name but a few.
Research and achievements:
Professor Markowitz has been involved in more than 50 research projects, and he published over 170 peer reviewed articles and 26 editorials. Moreover, he has been thoroughly involved in scientific publishing as an editorial board member of journals such as, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Research and currently the Cancer Prevention Research and as a reviewer for many journals such as Science, British Journal of Cancer, Blood and others. Lastly, he was an invited speaker for over 100 lectures and was involved in academic teaching activities and a myriad of research training programs.
Professor Markowitz discovered two key colon cancer tumor suppressor genes, TGF-beta RII and 15-PGDH. His work on TGF-beta RII explained why individuals with Lynch syndrome develop familial colon cancer—they are born with a molecular defect that leads to rapid inactivation of TGF-beta RII. His work on 15-PGDH led to the discovery of why aspirin prevents colon cancers in some individuals but not others. The effectiveness of aspirin chemoprevention depends on individuals having high colon expression of 15-PGDH
His laboratory studied molecular abnormalities in colon cancer including studies of colon cancer suppressor genes and oncogenes, studies of the functions of positive and negative regulatory growth factors, and studies of the role of genomic instability in inherited and sporadic colon cancers. Some of the achievements to date include: identification of a group of "mutator" genes whose inactivation induces genomic instability and is responsible for many cases of inherited and sporadic colon cancer; discovery that TGF-beta is a negative regulatory growth factor in the gut and that TGF-beta receptors are tumor suppressor genes that are mutated in many colon and gastric cancers; demonstration that p53 is a colon cancer suppressor gene; identification of a cassette of colon cancer suppressor genes that are silenced by aberrant methylation, and mapping of a new gene causing familial colon cancer to human chromosome 9. Ongoing interests in my lab include cloning new tumor suppressor genes and new genes causing familial colon cancer, elucidation of the TGF-ß signal transduction pathway, development of molecular based assays for cancer detection, and elucidation of genes involved in cancer metastases.
Prizes and Awards:
Professor Markowitz has numerous awarded patents and licensed inventions as well as personal awards, a number of these are listed below;